New Thing #348: McCaf?? Cappuccino

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This rash of fast food espresso based drink offerings has to stop. It’s not good people. 

It’s bad enought that Tim Hortons serves lattes and cappuccinos, but this McCafe business takes it to a whole other level.

It’s not like I was expecting much, especially after the completely non-discript Tim Horton’s latte I had a while back, but this thing was just terrible. It wasn’t hot enough, the milk tasted burnt, the beans tasted burnt, and I’m pretty sure it insulted my mother when I wasn’t looking.

I forced myself to take at least four sips of it before completely declaring it crap and that was hard enough.

I’m sure that with the proliferation of coffeeshops these days that your options will never be limited to McDonalds. Please avoid at all costs.

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New Thing #313: Nespresso

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I’ve been pretty skeptical of the whole pod-based espresso craze, but more and more of my discerning friends have been telling me that I had to try Nespresso. Italians even.

So, I did. And damn if I didn’t almost walk out of there with one under my arm. Thankfully Shauna talked me off the ledge…or more told me off the ledge…so I came home empty handed. For now.

The coffee was good, very good. Sure, it’s not as exceptional as what you’re going to get out of a Sam James or Mercury shot, but it was better than anything I’ve had from a home machine that cost less $1000. The crema alone was richer than most restaurants will give you.

The other point my friends have all made to me is this: their manual machines continue to just sit and gather dust. Not because they’re particularly hard to use, but because they’re just too much fiddling to get a couple of cappuccinos going in the morning. And with a kid who never makes things easy before daycare it’s basically an impossiblity.

I’ve also been hesitant to even consider pods since they seem to amount to whole lot of waste ending up in a landfill. But they have that covered too. Just bring in your old pods to the store and they’ll recycle them for you. No fuss

And that store is a very nice piece of retail experience. They have a full blown free espresso bar for anybody to sidle up to at The Bay at the Eaton Centre. 

One of those anybodies was a rather pleasant retiree who spent 15 minutes giving me the most heart felt sales pitch I’ve ever gotten for any product in my life. The actual sales clerks had nothing on this guy. It was as if someone were looking at an iPhone for the first time and they happened to be standing next to to me. 

When you have customers that are that passionate about a product, you know they’re doing something right.

New Thing #305: Crema on the Danforth

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It’s not much of a secret that I frequent the Crema Espresso Bar at Yonge and Bloor rather frequently. I love their coffee and it’s conveniently located about 3 minutes from my office. 

But, even though I’ve passed it many times on the Danforth, I’ve never frequented their newest location until tonight. After a rather enjoyable visit with an old friend and colleague I grabbed a cappuccino to see how it stacked up to its brother’s. Pretty well is my assessment.

Plus, out of the three Crema locations I’ve been to, this is by far the most inviting. It’s warm and has plenty of seating and, at least in the evening, it’s fairly vacated. Perfect for a little quiet espresso time.

 

New Thing #264: Mountain View Coffee Factory Caf??

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Mountain View Coffee is a coffee wholesaler down off the Lakeshore in the east end. My friend Lynn told me about it a while back, but as I found the hard way, they’re not open on the weekend. So with a day off to fill I trotted on down around lunch time.

What I was interested in was that they proport to change up the beans regularly so that coffee people can try new things. But that isn’t really apparent when you walk in, and I didn’t see anything espousing the virtues of whatever they were using behind the counter today. I figured this would be a place where they’d give you a little spiel about what you’d be drinking that day. But I guess not. 

The space is big and open, which you’d expect in a warehouse facility, but they’ve managed to add enough warth with some tables and furniture to make it inviting to stay and enjoy your beverage. Plus they have free wifi which is always a plus. 

I had a cappuccino that wasn’t, well, terrible. It wasn’t great either. But it was good enough to accompany the latest issue of The Walking Dead in a nice quiet environement.

I think the biggest problem they’ll have is that Mercury Espresso Bar is literrally just up the street from them and their product is vastly superior.

New Thing #217: Mr. Brown Cappuccino

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I keep seeing these Mr. Brown canned coffee beverages in my grocery store and decided to pick one up today. It was supposed to be an emergency new thing, but it turned out I’m still too under the weather to finally experience Nuit Blanche for myself.

As the video shows, it’s fine. Which is kind of surprising as most canned coffee just tastes like crap. Sure it’s overly sweet but I expect that in something with a shelf life of forever.

And yeah, it doesn’t make a bad cocktail mix in a pinch.

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